So, I was listening to ABC AM radio Friday morning and they were interviewing Richard Di Natale. I was quite surprised to hear him singing the praises of dairy farmers, basically putting his full support behind them. I found the transcript online, and here’s the quote:
“On the dairy industry, for example, we’ve got a range of policies that would look after farmers rather than at the moment you’ve got the old parties and the National party who I keep hearing from people right around the country, are just deserting farmers and not representing their interests.
They’re more interested in supporting the fossil fuel industry, the mining industry. You’ve got that revolving door between the National party politicians and the coal seam gas industry.
People are fed up with it. They want a group who is going to represent their interests and they’re seeing that in the Greens.”
Basically, he’s looking for the dairy farmer’s vote in this election.
If you look in the Green’s policy in regards to animals you find:
7. “An end to inhumane farming practices that are inconsistent with animals’ natural behavioural needs, and a phasing out of intensive farming practices in meat, dairy and egg production.”
To a vegan, that whole statement is an oxymoron. We know it is not possible to put an end to “inhumane farming practices that are inconsistent with animals’ natural behaviour” purely by welfare reform alone, particularly in the dairy industry. Raising one’s own young is a fundamental natural behaviour to dairy cows, and in fact, most mammals including ourselves.
I find it inconsistent that Di Natale would aim to make himself a voice for dairy farmers while the above remains an aim in the Green’s policy.
Furthermore, many of us know that animal agriculture, particularly cattle, makes a significant contribution to climate change. Having perused through the Green’s policies further, I have not been able to locate anywhere in their policy which acknowledges this. It seems, in fact, that the policy only sees agriculture to be a victim of climate change. I agree that climate change does pose a risk to food security, and that sustainable farming practices are a positive step, but I do not believe that animal agriculture will form a positive part of those practices. To pin the blame squarely on fossil fuel industry, and not at all on agricultural practices, is not entirely honest or realistic.
Check out the links below if you want to find more info.
Radio Interview: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2016/s4488188.htm
Green’s Animal Policy: http://greens.org.au/policies/animals
Green’s Sustainable Agriculture Policy: http://greens.org.au/policies/sustainable-agriculture
Green’s Climate Change and Energy Policy: http://greens.org.au/policies/climate-change-energy